TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Seminoles.com) – The Florida State Women’s Basketball team tuned up for its upcoming season opener by racing past the Faulkner Eagles on Sunday afternoon, winning 89-27 in an exhibition at the renovated Donald L. Tucker Center.
The Seminoles showcased a fast-paced offense thanks to their immense depth going into the season. With 12 healthy bodies, Florida State outscored the Eagles, 28-2, in fast-break points, a total that it never reached in last season’s 21-12 campaign.
Making her unofficial debut in an FSU uniform was junior center Adut Bulgak, who recorded a double-double with 16 points and 15 rebounds. The former top-ranked Junior College player had her athleticism on display all afternoon, creating good position in the post and running the floor extremely well.
Redshirt senior point guard Maegan Conwright was comfortable in transition against the Eagles, totaling 14 points on 5-of-8 shooting while adding four assists and just one turnover in 25 minutes. Sophomore Ivey Slaughter continued her physical play that was such a trademark of her freshman season, scoring 12 points with nine rebounds and five steals.
McDonald’s All-American Shakayla Thomas adjusted well as the game progressed, finishing with 14 points on 6-of-13 shooting. The Sylacauga, Ala., native was able to get into the flow of FSU’s offensive scheme and played soundly in the second half.
FSU forced 23 steals, highlighted by six swipes apiece from the ACC’s returning steals leader in sophomore Brittany Brown and redshirt junior guard Shakena Richardson. The duo helped the Seminoles force 36 turnovers which led to 49 points off Faulkner’s miscues.
Overall, FSU shot 43.6 percent (34-of-78) from the field and held Faulkner to just 22.5 percent (9-of-40) from the floor. Bulgak’s 5-of-6 showing from the charity stripe helped the Seminoles shoot 77.3 percent from the free-throw line (17-of-22), including 10-of-12 in the second half.
The Noles scored in bunches against Faulkner, using a 13-0 run in the first half to stretch their lead to 25-8. Bulgak and Conwright combined for 10 of the team’s 13 points in the run, with Bulgak getting inside buckets while Conwright nailed one of the team’s four long-range jumpers with 9:56 left in the first half to put FSU ahead 21-8.
A subsequent 16-0 run by FSU that stretched into the second half put the game out of reach and created a 41-11 lead with 19:29 left in the game. Redshirt sophomore guard Morgan Jones hit a jumper in that stretch and sophomore center Kai James converted on a basket underneath to help FSU to a 37-11 lead right before halftime.
The Noles open their season at home against UAB on Friday, Nov. 14, at 7 p.m. The season-opening event offers many promotions, including $2 Tip-off where all tickets are just $2 and a “Drive for 3K” campaign with the United Way. Fans can also pick up the team’s new schedule posters and get them signed after the game by all their favorite student-athletes.